St. Clair County Community College

High-quality, affordable education

Peer-to-Peer file sharing

Consumer information

Peer-to-Peer file sharing

St. Clair County Community College (SC4) maintains a campus network to further the goals and support the academic and administrative needs of the students, faculty, and staff. The SC4 Acceptable Use Policy defines copyright and fair use and provides information on acceptable use of copyrighted work. 

SC4 defines network users as SC4 students, faculty, and staff. Since the SC4 Library provides networked computers in a lab setting for public use, all guests and public patrons will be included in the network user group.

General Information
Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing applications allow network users to download and share audio, video, and picture files with each other for legitimate academic endeavors. Some network users may transfer files to others without the consent of the copyright owner. Use of P2P file sharing applications for the unauthorized acquisition or distribution of copyrighted or licensed material by SC4 network users is prohibited on any SC4 college computer or the college’s network.

SC4 prohibits copyright infringement through its Acceptable Use Policy. Additionally, students will find the policy in the student code of conduct. All individuals of SC4 will receive an email or US Mail with instructions on accessing copyright information and the Acceptable Use Policy annually. Public patrons will find this information posted on the SC4 website.

Information regarding appropriate use of copyrighted materials, which includes material shared via P2P, will be made available to network users and public patrons on SC4’s webpage at Acceptable Use Policy.

SC4 will effectively combat unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material using bandwidth shaping as a technology-based deterrent.

Any user of the campus network found in violation of the policy will be notified immediately by the Dean of Students and will be required to delete the file(s) that violate the copyright law. Failure to comply will result in disciplinary action, including loss of use of SC4’s information technology systems. Additional disciplinary action for students may also include expulsion from SC4. The Human Resources Department will determine additional disciplinary action for faculty and staff. Public patrons will be required to delete the file(s) that violate the copyright law. Failure to comply will result in loss of use of the network. Violators may be subject to civil and criminal liabilities.

Policy Review
The P2P policy will be reviewed annually through the SC4 Technology Council to determine the effectiveness of the policy.

Annual Disclosure
SC4 is required by Federal Law (H.R. 4137, Higher Education Opportunity Act) to make an annual disclosure informing network users that illegal distribution of copyrighted materials may lead to civil and/or criminal penalties. At the onset of the fall and winter semesters, all students registered for college credit will receive notification via US Mail informing them where they may obtain information on copyright and policies related to copyright violations. Public patrons and students registered for non-credit courses only will find this information posted on the SC4 website.

Alternatives to Illegal File Sharing
Both the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have websites that list legal alternatives to illegal P2P. Some of the more popular alternatives include:


  • iTunes 
  • SpiralFrog 
  • Pandora 
  • amazonMP3

Movies and Television

  • iTunes 
  • Hulu 
  • Netflix Watch Instantly 
  • Major television network websites